Food Advisory Board resumes advocating for student dining feedback

Sat, 2017/03/25
Ethan Castro
After a short hiatus due to Spring Break, the Illinois Tech Food Advisory Board (FAB), an organization that exists as a joint venture under Student Government Association (SGA) and the Residence Hall Association (RHA), has recommenced its biweekly meetings with the management of Illinois Tech Dining Services for the purpose of shaping overall dining strategy and initiatives to best reflect the demands of the student body under current Dining Services capabilities. Present at the most recent meeting on March 24 were various representatives from both RHA and SGA as well as the current management structure of Illinois Tech Dining Services, including Chris Ferenc (General Manager), Fadila Ademi (Retail Manager), Mark Janickovic (Operations Manager), and Eddie Skidmore (Marketing Manager).

The meeting began with Ferenc recapping what recent dining changes have arisen out of FAB over the past few weeks. The launch of weekend halal options in the Commons (available in the coolers used for Residential Express meals during the weekdays), the opening of Residential Express meals in the Commons at 11:00 a.m. (with the Commons proper still opening at 11:15 a.m.), the expansion of premium grill options at the Commons grill to twice per week (during lunchtime both Tuesdays and Fridays), and the expansion of Center Court meal exchanges to include the eight-piece Maki sushi rolls are all just examples of recent FAB innovations. In addition, students are advised to pay special attention to the upcoming April calendar of special events across all Illinois Tech Dining Services locations. For example, April 3 will feature a special grill selection to celebrate the opening of the Chicago White Sox season while April 14 will feature a special Easter celebration buffet.

After this discussion on the most recent actions of Illinois Tech Dining Services to respond to student feedback, discussion then shifted to what new student critiques and suggestions have arisen the past few weeks. The first such matter was a perceived issue of regular halal meals in the Commons lacking capacity by the end of the dinner period. Ferenc responded that he and his management team would look into the specific items that are encountering supply issues and adjust accordingly. FAB will follow up on this matter at a future meeting. In the same vein of Commons supply, another perceived issue of the Commons lacking sufficient meat variety on a day-to-day basis was met with the answer that Illinois Tech Dining Services is aware of the varied dietary needs of the university’s students and tries to vary its selections accordingly. The core issue is one of understanding student wishes and being able to reconcile them with supply. Finally, the common complaint in the Commons of the grill’s plates oftentimes being too hot to comfortably hold will also be looked into.

As always, students are encouraged to direct any of their feedback related to dining on campus to the Residence Hall Association at In addition, Illinois Tech Dining Services has opened its own texting service to receive feedback. Students are encouraged to text their comments and suggestions to 82257. The text just needs to include “IITDining” and mention a specific dining location.